MARKETING MIX: HOBBY HORSE - Why consumers are to blame for TV inflation issue

Have you noticed that when TV inflation is discussed, the truly guilty party is never mentioned. The advertisers, rightly concerned, front up to the TV stations. The media buyers support the advertisers and everybody occasionally lays blame on the BBC. But here I can expose who is truly to blame: the consumer.

Have you noticed that when TV inflation is discussed, the truly

guilty party is never mentioned. The advertisers, rightly concerned,

front up to the TV stations. The media buyers support the advertisers

and everybody occasionally lays blame on the BBC. But here I can expose

who is truly to blame: the consumer.



They’ve started doing things differently and made it dangerous and

expensive for those of us who still think what we used to do is what we

should still be doing (after all it’s less risky).



For starters, they just don’t act their age; or class. Even good old

BARB favourites like housewives with children have let us down. These

days the majority are working and bringing in a substantial proportion

of all household income.



They’ve started doing annoying things like shopping and banking when

they want, and choosing brands dependent on mood rather than ACORN

group.



Worst of all, they have wholeheartedly embraced the multitude of media

that now exists to entertain them. They consume it when it suits them

and their needs. Today, more media is consumed, it is better targeted

and is designed to fit a mood and attitude. Media brands are providing

strong brand/ consumer relationship opportunities, with 62% of UK adults

claiming they never have enough time to get things done. ITV recognises

this and under Richard Eyre, has equipped itself to address such

matters.



So, back to TV inflation. However well Eyre does, TV inflation will be a

perennial problem for brands that use the old models of media

deployment, and fail to recognise consumer realities. In this new media

landscape those brands that embrace consumer change will do

disproportionately well.



Undersupply in media will not be a problem.



Developing more effective media routes to the consumer demands both

insight and a culture of challenge driven by the marketer. More judgment

needs to be applied to media than the comfortable numbers might suggest.

This challenge is not foreign to the world’s greatest marketing

companies.



Management consultant Collins and Porras recently identified management

commonalities between companies that led their fields: Procter & Gamble,

3M, Boeing, Sony and Motorola. One of their findings was that these

companies are consistent in maintaining their core values while

developing better strategies, and accepting mistakes.



A short-term, tactical response to TV inflation, such as boycotting

specific sales houses, might be good for morale, but will do little to

solve the longer term issues.



Time invested now in gaining better insight and developing only the most

brand relevant routes to the consumer will pay dividends. The real

danger is doing what you’ve always done, and every year, getting

slightly more disappointing results.